Red Bean Hummus and Cornbread

red bean hummus stuffed zucchini with hummus vegan cornbread with steamed spinach

[click image to enlarge]

With Thanksgiving approaching, some may wonder what was on the menu for the very first celebration. Here is a question from a Shape Up America! visitor about just that:

Hi Chef Joanna! I have started to follow your blog and I am very much interested in your Thanksgiving meal ideas. We always see the pictures of the first Thanksgiving meal with Indians in it. Do you have any ideas for me to serve some Native American Indian foods at our meal so I can talk to my kids about how their food was different but now we eat their foods and don’t know they came from these roots.

Yes, it’s hard to think of which fruits and vegetables are native to North America because so much is available to us! While most of what we think of at our Thanksgiving like pumpkin, apples, cranberries, and turkey, were enjoyed by the Native Americans, the three staples of American Indian cuisine were corn, beans, and squash. This trio is called the three sisters, the main agricultural crops of most tribes. The reason they grouped these foods together were because they used a technique called companion cropping, growing all three crops in the same area. The corn would grow tall, the bean vines would climb up the corn stalks, and the squash would stay low and create the nutritious mulch to keep the whole system going. I am always amazed by the Indians' relationship with the earth.

So in response to your question, I decided to call the three sisters to the kitchen. But, with a modern twist of course. I made a simple vegan cornbread, and stuffed zucchini with red bean hummus. I'm sure the Native Americans ate cornbread of some type and cooked dried beans, but not hummus-stuffed zucchini. Sometimes it’s fun to be playful. I hope you find a little more history in your Thanksgiving meal!

This recipe was adapted from The Joy of Vegan Baking, by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau I highly recommend this book if you enjoy baking, vegan or not! Try the carrot cake and oatmeal cookies!

Servings: Hummus: makes 1 cup serving 12 people
Cornbread: 16


  • 1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans, rinsed thoroughly
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 medium sized garlic clove
  • 1 heaping tablespoon tahini
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 zucchini (optional)
  • Cornbread:
  • 1 ½ cup nonfat soy milk
  • 1 ½ tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup cornmeal (sold as coarse cornmeal, cornmeal, or polenta)
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup frozen whole corn kernels*

*Can use frozen, pour into batter, or defrost under cool water to separate kernels and drain well.


  1. Blend all ingredients together in blender or immersion blender.
  2. You can serve this bean dip with zucchini or even stuff the zucchini with it! I steamed the zucchini for 4 minutes, then cored it with an apple corer. I then chopped up the zucchini cores and added it to the red bean hummus. I used a cut Ziploc bag to pipe the hummus into the zucchini and then sliced into circles with the hummus in the center.
  1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Grease a 9x9 inch baking dish, or line a muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. Combine the soy milk and vinegar in a small bowl.
  3. Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Make a well in the center.
  4. Pour the soy milk-vinegar mixture and the oil into the well. Don't whisk, just stir until all is moistened. Stir in the corn.
  5. Pour into baking dish or muffin pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and golden brown.

Additional information: appropriate for Vegetarian, Vegan and Gluten Free diet.

Red Bean Hummusnutrition facts label for Red Bean Hummus

Cornbreadnutrition facts label for Cornbread

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